Hi gang, how's you? Fantastic!
I hope y'all liked the Shameless prequel, 'The Good Boy'. I have to say Kiba is amazingly easy to write for.
Thank you all for the lovely birthday wishes! They really meant a lot to me. I do love how you guys have stuck with me and the story for so long, I must be doing something right!
I felt it was only right to finish this today, as it's now my 25th birthday today! 25, wut.
NU CAKE FOR EVERYONE! Hope everyone enjoys it, I'm going to the seaside with my friends in my morning. I can't tell you guys how much I'm looking forward to sun, sand, ice cream, fish & chips and rock candy!
I'm having therapy for my arm btw, and I'm improving slowly, hopefully I can write more now, but I'm not pushing myself.
Btw dudes, I got an A on my dissertation. Go. Me. :D
Silent Jealousy is by X-Japan. Fucking classic. If you love J-rock but haven't listened to X-Japan, you need to, RIGHT NOW!
Special thanks go to koholint for helping me out on super short notice :3
7. Silent Jealousy
As he showered the next morning, Shino had to stifle a few yawns; he had not slept well the rest of the night. How could he sleep, after what he saw? He may have been sheltered but even he knew that Kiba must have been stabbed at some point, and by considering how old it looked it happened at least a few years ago.
But why did it happen? Was he robbed or did he upset the wrong person? Was it because of his job?
Shino spent a longer time than usual in the bathroom as he dressed, wondering how he might approach the subject. Kiba might not mind at all… or it could be a taboo subject. Perhaps Kiba had enough going on in his life without him asking uncomfortable questions. Or perhaps he would be fine with it. Perhaps.
After brushing his hair briskly (it was pointless to do anything else, after ten minutes it would be messy again no matter what he tried), he left the bathroom. In the living area he saw Kiba was awake and wandering over to the kitchen area, yawning widely, now wearing a t-shirt with his boxers; he obviously must have put the shirt on when he woke up. Kiba soon noticed him and grinned, bounding over to wrap his arms around him for a kiss.
"Mornin' sexy," Kiba murmured when their lips parted, "What's for breakfast?"
Shino said the first thing that came to mind. "Cleaning."
"Eh?" Kiba's expression was priceless.
"We are going to clean this place; it's barely fit for Akamaru to live in."
Akamaru barked in agreement, and Kiba looked around the room, his eyes obviously not taking in the overflowing ashtrays and the layer of dust on the TV screen that was thick enough to write his name in. "Looks fine to me."
"Kiba, I may be a guest but I cannot ignore the fact that your place is sloppy."
"Aw, take that stick out of your ass, its comfy! You're just jealous because your room looks like a bug-filled prison!"
"I have nothing against comfort, but we have to clean up."
"Ugh...can we at least make out first?"
"What if I told him I wanted to go work in South America for a few years; would that deter your father?"
Hinata stirred her tea, looking down at the cup.
"No, I don't think that will. I think he would say that a married couple should stay together and that I would go with you."
Shino's shoulders dropped minutely under his coat. "And if I said that there was very little chance of us coming back?"
"Then he would buy us a house and would visit us."
She sipped the lukewarm tea. She had not looked up once in at least twenty minutes, and he could not blame her. "This is just -" her voice cracked on the last word and she covered her face with her hands, breathing shallow. It was several moments before she could speak again.
"I just," she sighed, and moved her fingers so she could look at him through the gaps like a child. "There really is no way, is there?"
".. perhaps we haven't explored every option."
"But there are no other ways! Our parents want us to marry each other so much, even if it was mutually dissolved… father would - would be so angry, and if I wanted to marry... I would be cut off, not just from my inheritance, but from the family."
"Would he really be so angry if you married Neji?"
She looked up at him, surprised. "What?
"After the dinner, I saw the look between you." Shino paused, a little uncertain, "Or am I mistaken?"
Hinata was silent, before shaking her head.
"No, you're right."
Shino sipped his drink, considering what to say.
"Can I ask how it started? I don't mean to sound callous, but he used to be rather cruel to you when we were children..."
"Yes, he... well, it's difficult to explain. I always knew he hated me because our fathers hated each other before uncle died, and that he was only kept around because he was the closest male to inherit… but then... do you remember when I broke my wrist when I was twelve?"
"Of course… you tripped at school if I remember right."
"That's what I told everyone, but, well, Neji pushed me."
"Please don't be angry with him, let me explain. That day, I managed to get the courage to finally approach him and say that I wanted us to be friends. He called me an idiot and pushed me; I fell awkwardly and that was how my wrist was broken. Please remember that he was only thirteen, he didn't really mean to hurt me… after I fell he called an ambulance and stayed with me at the hospital. The next day he apologised and said that if I still wanted to, we could start over and be friends. Which of course I did, so slowly we became friends."
"I only realised how much I felt for him a few years ago when he went to university in America, and I cried for nearly a week. When he came back during the holiday, he was so cold again and it was a while until we were as we were before... it was only last year he confessed he loved me, but tried to not to for years. We've both tried so hard not to, but I can't describe how drawn we are to each other."
Suddenly Shino and Hinata's phones bleeped at the same time, and they both checked their messages.
Phone email from Inuzuka. K to Aburame. S.
Yo, I'll be at Harajuku in a bit buying stuff, wanna meet up?
"Neji wants to meet me for lunch," Hinata smiled at him slightly, "Would you be very angry if I cut our tea short?"
"Not at all, I've been invited to meet someone in Harajuku as well…"
"Is it the 'someone' you mentioned before?"
They enjoyed a comfortable taxi ride, but when they exited Hinata brought the subject up again.
"Can I ask, how long have you been with her?"
Her? Oh... "I've known them for a few months, but when we've... about two weeks."
"What is she like?
"Unusual, but you would like them."
"If you like her, I don't see why I wouldn't." She smiled, "I'll speak to you soon."
He lingered a little while, thinking as he watched her until she disappeared inside the hotel bar.
"So that's her."
Shino was surprised he didn't jump at Kiba's sudden voice, especially as he seemed to appear right next to him.
"She's cute, what's her name again?"
"Hinata. When did you arrive?"
"Ages ago… saw you guys arrive so I snuck up on ya."
"Like a stalker."
"Like a ninja."
"Because. Anyway, you wanna go now?"
Two hours later, Shino was outside a rather unsavoury changing area while Kiba was trying on overpriced clothes. Apparently this trip was to buy a present for Kiba's best friend Kankuro, but within half an hour he had found a faintly hideous and somehow offensive statue with a glass funnel that Kiba said would look good in Kankuro's kitchen. Shino was unsure how such an abomination look good anywhere except inside a closed garbage bag, but in consideration of what he wanted to ask Kiba, which would possibly put him in a bad mood, he said nothing.
The rest of the day was spent with Kiba buying ugly clothes. Again, Shino knew his wardrobe sense would never be called fashionable, but he had no idea why Kiba would spend so much on clothes that looked as if they had been decorated by a child then dragged around a park. The shop they were in now was tastefully named 'Vomit', a dark place that looked like a small demilitarised zone, made even odder with the cheerful electro-pop music that the lone blond employee was bopping his head along to as he flicked through a magazine at the till counter.
"So," Kiba's voice came suddenly through the curtain, "What do you wanna do after this?"
"Cool. So did you two figure something out?"
Shino turned to look at the curtain. "Excuse me?"
"You and Hinata."
"No, not yet."
"Oh. D'ya think she really doesn't want to marry you?"
"It was she who brought the subject up."
"Huh, well maybe if you can't... maybe you should give it a go together."
"What?" Where was this coming from?
"Seriously, if she ain't serious then maybe you could try, y'know, with her...you'd probably have cute kids."
Shino opened the curtain and looked at Kiba. He was pulling on a shirt, and his eyes skittered over the scar before he looked at Kiba's face.
"Why are you saying this? The other week you were saying I would be unhappy."
"Yeah well," Kiba shrugged. "I dunno."
"I wasn't just going along with Hinata's decision, I decided for myself. In fact, you made me realise what was important…"
"I changed your mind?"
"No. I'm not a passive person, I just - " Shino paused, trying to order his words in a way that made sense. "Being with you, spending time with you, made me realise I'm far happier when I'm my true self."
Kiba looked doubtful. "Don't think so. If you really thought that, you'd know the easiest way to end it would be to tell your parents that you're gay."
"… that would be too much for them right now, to break off the engagement because I'm gay… that I've been lying to them for years about my sexuality."
"So what? You'll marry her or be single forever?"
"No, I - " What? "'Single'?"
"If you keep hanging around me they'll be suspicious."
"Kiba," Shino stepped into the small cubicle and the closed the curtain behind him. "Why are you bringing this up now?"
Kiba looked away, pulling off the shirt and looked down at his hands now fidgeting with the material.
"I'm... kinda freaked out, she's so pretty. Pretty and looks as kind like you said before, like she was meant to be your loving wife. I just imaged what it'd be like for your parents, you saying you're dumping a perfect girl, and then bringing a rough guy like me along to meet them, that shit could get you kicked out."
"I doubt it would get to that... Kiba," Shino reached out and touched the other boy's hand. "I won't change my mind."
Kiba's hands were still fidgeting. "You won't?"
"Nothing will change my mind, or hers, she's in love with someone else."
Kiba looked up at last, looking surprised.
"Yes, they wish to marry as soon as possible." Shino paused, uncertain before speaking again. "And I told her that I was seeing someone."
"You told her that?"
"Yes. Was that right? This isn't some kind of game; we are... dating, aren't we?"
Shino had barely finished the question when Kiba grabbed him by his shirt collar and pulled him into a kiss.
"I like you a lot," Kiba murmured when they parted, "when I first called you my boyfriend I meant it."
Shino smiled slightly, "I'm glad."
Their mouths met again, warm and slow.
There was a sudden voice behind the curtain, flat with annoyance.
"Hey, no fucking in the changing room, either buy something or get out."
Kiba rolled his eyes and pulled back the curtain.
"Don't get your dick in a knot, we were having a moment!"
"Have it somewhere else! You buying or what?"
Several overpriced purchases and an hour later, the boys were in a quiet area in the nearby park enjoying the fresh warm air.
"Where is Akamaru?"
"Friend's dog sitting."
Shino was sat leaning against a tree, while Kiba was sat beside him, legs crossed and his hands busy trying to make a whistle with a blade of glass.
"Kiba, why were you saying those things earlier?"
"I dunno, just... seeing her, the thought of you two sleeping together, made me feel kinda... I dunno. I just want you for myself, but she looks like you two could get along just fine."
"As I said our minds are made up… and what makes you think that we slept together?"
"You've been engaged for a million years."
"We haven't, I've never had sex."
Kiba's head whipped round to face him so quickly it was a wonder he didn't get a neck injury.
"You're a virgin?"
"Not even with other guys?"
This was beginning to become tiresome.
"Yes, is there a problem with that?"
"No, I mean everyone I know including me, lost it as soon as they could, I just assumed you did it a while ago... so, how come?"
"I would have to care for the person very deeply while in a committed relationship, and I simply haven't experienced that yet."
Shino expected several crude jokes but instead Kiba turned back to his makeshift whistle.
"Shino, do you like me?"
"I like you a lot, but I won't sleep with you."
Kiba turned back, smiling slightly. "Nah, I mean, am I likeable?"
"I wouldn't be here if I thought otherwise."
Kiba turned back to his hands.
"Kiba... are you okay? You haven't seemed like yourself today."
"Yeah, yeah I am, guess today's one of those times I don't really feel like myself."
"Why is that?"
"Dunno, it's just one of those days when you wake up and nothing seems right, catching myself doing or saying something I don't like, and memories of stuff keep fucking up your day."
Shino understood. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
"Maybe, I'll tell you about it some other time."
A while later, Shino spoke. "Kiba, may I ask about your scar?"
"The one on your stomach."
"...I'm sorry, that was tactless."
"It's alright. Don't really want to talk about it right now, tell ya later?"
"Promise I will."
The next evening Shino decided to visit Kiba, although when Kiba opened the door looking as if he was dressing for work, Shino slightly wished he had just gone straight home.
"I need a favour, can you look after Akamaru tonight?"
"A friend just called, he's sick and asked me to cover for him tonight at the club. I'd get lots of tips, but all of my friends are working tonight, so could you?"
Kiba smiled. "You," he leaned in and kissed Shino, "are fucking amazing. The place winds down at three, wanna come by?"
"What about Akamaru?"
"He'll be long asleep, and my best friend Kankuro works at the club and he really wants to meet you."
"Meet me?" That was... strange. "Why?"
"Don't worry, he won't bite... well, unless you ask him to."
Kiba was soon ready and out of the door with a quick grope and a "Call ya later!"
Shino sat at the kotatsu and started to read while Akamaru cuddled up to him. He stroked the dog's fur absently, admiring how such a massive beast was so gentle and friendly. He quite liked Akamaru, and he supposed it said a lot about Kiba that he could live in an apartment in Tokyo with such a large dog and have him so well behaved.
After a few minutes, Shino could not concentrate on his reading, for some reason the quiet of the apartment bothered him. Eventually he found himself staring at the wall – the silence was giving him too much to think about. Shikamaru and Chouji, and his own decision. Even Kiba's almost territorial behaviour when he saw Hinata… why he would act that way was beyond him.
Shino suddenly remembered that he had not spoken to Sasuke for a while, and took out his phone. It rang until it went to voicemail. He sent a message that he wanted to speak to him, then called again. Same as before.
Akamaru got up and went into the hall, and Shino soon heard him scratching at the door. Time for a walk, maybe the fresh air would clear his head.
At two in the morning, a few hours after Shino had gone to bed, Kiba called.
"Shino, come visit me, I miss you~!"
"Just a lil' tipsy, c'mon you gotta come, Kankuro wants to meet you, and I really miss you!"
"Where are you?"
"Desert Mist Host Club nearby, hurry up sexy!"
He hung up.
Akamaru snuffled in his sleep, and started to kick his legs out as if he were running.
Shino stifled a yawn, put on his glasses and started to type the name of the club into his phone's internet search.
He seemed to be keeping more and more anti-social hours lately.
The Desert Mist Host Club was actually not too far from Kiba's place. Outside there were photos of the Hosts on a large board, and all looked lacquered and polished until they almost resembled mannequins. Shino wondered which one was Kiba's friend.
He entered the building and was walking past the welcome desk, when he heard, "can we help you?"
He turned and looked at the pair of immaculately manicured men in their pristine suits sitting at the desk, looking as if they had assessed him and found him wanting.
"Yes," he said eventually, "I'm meeting a friend inside."
"I'm sorry sir, this club is female clientele only."
"I'm meeting Inuzuka Kiba, he's working here tonight."
"You're Shino?" He turned to the voice behind him, there was a pretty blonde woman wearing a figure hugging purple dress. She looked at him dubiously for a long moment before speaking.
"He's wasted. His customers are leaving soon and he's holding it really well in front of them, but when they leave, you need to take his drunk ass home."
He guessed she was one of the managers. "I understand."
"Just find an empty booth and wait for him." She took a felt tip pen from the table and uncapped it. "Hold out your hand."
She had such a firm tone that Shino automatically did so, and she took his wrist and made an 'X' mark on the back of his hand with the pen. "That's so employees know you're helping a friend home. Follow me."
She gave him another look before turning on her impossibly high heels and walking down a corridor towards a large set of double doors. "You coming?" she called without looking back.
He followed, and there was a large burst of music when she opened the doors to a large nightclub room, lit only by spinning spotlights while loud music played.
"You can have a drink while you wait, Kankuro and Gaara are around in case you need any help, as for me I need to go sweeten up some clients." She made a mini salute gesture with her hand before making her way towards one of the seating areas.
Shino looked around. The dance floor was littered with couples or groups of giggling girls dancing with a man, and most of the booths in the alcoves were occupied. He couldn't see Kiba, but it was dark. He briefly lifted his sunglasses and looked around, but that didn't really help.
He turned and approached the bar; it was the most opulent bar he had ever seen, even more so than the Golden Firefly, and there were several bartenders making exotic drinks from bottles with tags.
The closest bartender, who had just put a tray of drinks onto the counter, looked in his direction and smiled. "Can I help you?"
He had a Chinese accent, and looked a little odd, but his smile was open and honest. "Water, if you please."
"I'm only here for a friend." He held up his marked hand.
"Ah, I see! Who are you here for?"
The boy laughed. "Kiba? Good thing, last time he worked here he fell asleep in the toilets!"
He opened a bottle of water and filled a simple glass.
"Does he have to drink so much?"
The boy raised his impressive eyebrows in surprise. "Of course, to keep up with customers – it encourages them to spend more. I couldn't do it myself, but at least we have the system of getting friends to take hosts home. Is this your first time here?"
Shino nodded, and the boy glanced at the display unit behind him, where there was a gap between some large bottles.
"He's still with them, I'll let him know you're here when he brings the bottles back. Oh, and my name is Rock Lee, just so you know."
He sat in an empty boot near the bar, sipping his water occasionally. He saw a redheaded man in a suit approach Lee, leaning over the counter to talk to him. He couldn't hear them over the music but Lee's smile was unchanged as he spoke and inclined his head towards his direction. The redheaded boy briefly turned and gave him a flat look before turning and leaning back against the bar, arms crossed while he watched the main area. Shino could only suppose he was one of the other managers.
Suddenly someone sat opposite him, and he slid his gaze towards him without moving his head. He looked a little older than Shino, in a black suit, messy black hair and a pierced eyebrow. He seemed to be looking at him intently, and when Shino turned his head to fully look at him, his mouth stretched into what could only be called a smirk.
"You look just like I thought you would, only kinda dorkier."
"Yeah, Kiba said you've known each other for nearly two months but you haven't fucked yet? That's kinda weird."
"Excuse me, but who are you?"
"Kankuro. Thought it was obvious."
"I prefer to confirm before I assume, though since you are just as abrupt as Kiba, it makes sense that you are friends."
"Smartass." Kankuro downed some of the beer he had brought with him. "Figures."
"He said you were smart and kinda weird and sexy, but with Kiba I should know that meant freakish."
"That's your opinion, and I've not made any assumptions about you."
"Oh yeah? What's dog boy said about me?"
"You've been friends for several years, he trusts you, and you once smacked someone so hard you broke Kiba's paddle."
Kankuro was mid-sip and snorted so hard he had to quickly put down his bottle, laughing loudly until his shoulders hook. After a moment he looked up at Shino, with what looked like a genuine smile. "He told you about that!"
"Bet he still bitches about it, like I fucking care anyway. It was worth it, she was a bad girl, oh God her tits - "
Normally when someone apart from Kiba started on the details of their sex lives, Shino tended not to listen because he really couldn't care less, but now he saw the combination of the words and Kankuro's stare... he could understand why he and Kiba once dated.
Gradually, Kankuro's smile lessened slightly, and he leaned back against the booth seat and pulled out, what else, a pack of cigarettes and lighter from his pocket.
"So," the older boy said as he lit up, "I gotta ask you something - "
"Shino!" That was the only warning he got before Kiba appeared out of nowhere and pounced on him, slobbering kisses on his face.
"There y'are! I was lookin' all over for ya!"
"I told Lee where you could find me."
"Yeah but I couldn't see ya here, all cuddled up with this handsome bastard."
Shino managed to untangle Kiba's wandering hands long enough for Kiba to sit properly, although the other boy still had him in an almost-hug.
"So you've already found each other, hope you weren't trying to steal him away Kankuro, 'cos he's all mine!"
Even in the poor light he could tell that Kiba's face was flushed from the alcohol. Hopefully he wouldn't be sick again.
"Wouldn't dare, got a hot girlfriend at home, and even if I tried you'd cut my balls off."
"Fuckin' cut them off and feed them to Akamaru!"
Kiba let go of Shino long enough to take one of Kankuro's cigarettes and tuck it behind his ear.
"One for later," he grinned widely. "Right now though, I'm hungry." Without warning he suddenly pulled down Shino's scarf and began to slowly nip and lick his neck gently. Shino shifted uncomfortably, and tried to push him away.
Through this, Kankuro's expression was unchanged apart from a slightly raised eyebrow. Finally, he said, "Nerd boy, you should take him home. Lightweight pussy can't handle drinks with little girls."
That was enough for Kiba's to tear himself away from Shino's neck.
"I'm not a pussy, those girls were fucking hardcore."
"Whatever, fuck off and go home."
"Fuck you right in the ear."
Shino was now wiping his neck with a paper napkin. "You reek of alcohol," he commented, turning to leave. "It was nice to meet you, Kankuro."
Once outside in the breeze Kiba seemed relatively steady on his feet, but he seemed interested in trying to sit down on the pavement.
Eventually he managed to half-drag Kiba down the road and Kiba eventually slung an arm around his head rolled onto Shino's shoulder. "So, whadya think of Kankuro?"
"That's why we're best friends, love that asshole."
"Why do you call each other names?"
"Just something we do, I dunno."
"I don't understand why people who like each other swear at each other and call each other names."
"Mmmm, he's my best friend, I can call him shit cos he's my best friend, love him so much, my Player 2, don't tell him I said that."
"Player 2, hold up a sec."
They stopped outside a restaurant and Kiba began to pat his pockets, eventually pulling out his lighter, and took the cigarette tucked behind his ear. He tried lighting up but the breeze in the air was too strong.
"I don't understand why you like smoking. They smell horrible and surely you know they'll kill you."
"Don't judge me, bug boy."
After a few more tries, Kiba swore then looked at Shino and smiled. "Open ya jacket,"
"If ya open your jacket so I can light up."
"Please please please please~"
"I'll light it quick so the smell won't stick on you."
Eventually Shino opened his coat to stop his whining. To his word Kiba quickly ducked his head inside the makeshift alcove the coat made, lit the cigarettes and moved away quickly to exhale.
"Never ask me to do that again, I'll have to clean this jacket when I get home."
"Hmmm." Kiba put his free arm around Shino's waist and started to kiss his collarbone.
"I've also noticed my clothes have started to smell of smoke."
Kiba hummed again. "Sorry." But he seemed more interested in kissing, moving up to kiss Shino fully on the lips while bringing their groins closer together until they met. There was a small jolt of arousal that went straight to Shino's groin at the contact, as well as the realisation that Kiba was semi-hard, and he opened his mouth for a deeper kiss.
Eventually he remembered himself, and pulled away a little.
"We're in public."
Kiba actually pouted, his eyes hazy with alcohol and arousal.
"Aw, but I wanna..." Shino reluctantly turned his head away when Kiba went for another kiss.
With his head turned, he saw they were in front of an all-night restaurant, but then, inside, he also saw Hinata and Neji seated by the window, looking as surprised as he felt.
Kiba had continued, kissing and nipping his neck as if he could eat Shino up. He moved up to whisper in Shino's ear, "I wanna fuck you."
It turned out Kiba really was hungry, staggering to the order counter as soon as they entered the restaurant, leaving Shino to stand by the door.
How he felt... was beyond description, somewhere far past mortification into real fear.
What if they were disgusted? What if they told his parents? This would be more than enough to break the engagement without any fault falling on Hinata.
Everyone would know… would his parents disown him?
However, once it became apparent Shino would not be moving from the door by himself, Hinata stood and approached him. She smiled gently and took his hand, leading him to their table.
"We won't tell anyone," Neji said once Shino sat down.
Hinata spoke quietly as she squeezed his hand reassuringly. "I couldn't live with myself if we did, it's your life."
Relief flooded Shino's system, yet at the same time felt so emotionally drained he slumped back in his seat. It was almost a minute before he spoke.
"He's the person you're with, that explains why you didn't say much about him. But I suppose that's why you didn't tell me... and I must admit I'm a little surprised that..." Hinata blushed slightly, "that you like men."
"...Only a few people know, and he is the first person that I am seeing."
"What is his name?"
"That's my name!" Kiba didn't sit as much fling himself onto the seat next to Shino, grinning widely and holding on to a large bowl of ramen.
"Yo," was his sole introduction before he dug into his food as if he was starving, not minding the looks the other three people at the table were giving him.
"So," he said between slurps, "You're Hinata, nice to meet you, who's the stranger dude with you?"
"Hyuuga Neji, Hinata's cousin." Neji's eyebrows were raised slightly at Kiba's lack of manners.
"I'm Kiba, king of badassery."
"Nice to meet you. Hungry?"
"You have no idea, just finished work and I need something to soak up the booze."
Neji looked at Shino, expectant.
"He is a club host."
Hinata spoke up "I heard that being a host was difficult… do you enjoy it?"
"Yeah, just can't take drinking all the time. I mean, when I met Shino, I nearly puked on him."
"Yeah, but he took care of me."
Hinata and Kiba chatted while finishing their meals, and Neji ate his in relative silence.
Shino was concentrating on relaxing as much as he could; this was all a bit sudden for him.
Eventually everyone stood to leave, and Hinata smiled at Kiba. "It was nice to meet you."
"Same here! Where you guys off to now?"
Kiba and Hinata were heading towards the door when Shino suddenly remembered something. He offered his hand to Neji, and when he took it, he suddenly tightened his grip and pulled him close so he could speak quietly in his ear.
"I know you have changed from when you were thirteen, but I need to say this… if you ever hurt Hinata in any way again, I will find you and break your legs."
When he let go Neji nodded, a faint hint of an understanding smile on his lips.
"That is more than fair, and I meant what I said earlier."
"But you need to be honest with your parents."
"... I know."
Phone email from Uzumaki. N to Aburame. S.
Is Sasuke seeing someone else?
Shino was reading in the library when he received the message. He raised an eyebrow slightly when he read it. What made Naruto think that? He considered ignoring it, perhaps this was something to do with their earlier flight, but instead decided to reply.
Phone email from Aburame. S to Uzumaki. N.
No. What makes you think so?
Phone email from Uzumaki. N to Aburame. S.
He disappears randomly, and acts weird, gets pissed when I asked him where he's been.
Phone email from Aburame. S to Uzumaki. N.
He has been like that for as long as I've known him.
Phone email from Uzumaki. N to Aburame. S.
Last week he said if I kept asking annoying questions he'd leave me like my ma's family.
Shino packed up his things and left the library; he needed to call Naruto and speak to him about this. But, when he opened the exit doors, he saw Naruto was already outside, leaning against the tinted glass windows.
"Thought you'd be here." He wasn't smiling. "What's been going on?"
"I don't know... did he really say that?"
"Yeah. I flipped out and punched him in the face. That was a week ago and I haven't talked to him yet."
"Has he tried to contact you?"
"His behaviour has been unusual lately... I assumed it was due to that it has nearly been three years since, since his brother."
"I'm not stupid, I thought about that. He talks about it every now and then, but now it's like he just wants to keep it inside and stay angry. Especially when his 'kaasan relapses again."
"I thought she was better again? Or is it Itachi?"
"Sick bastard… Sasuke says every few months, anytime she seems like her old self Itachi likes to remind her he's around." Naruto sighed, one of his hands playing with his jacket zipper.
"I dunno, I've been trying since day one, but it's like he's not even there sometimes, y'know, like his mind is someone else, and when he said that, about... fuck, I just saw red."
"You don't. I told him everything and he knows it's not my fault, he knows. He knows it's not my fault 'kaasan died to have me. Every time I see dad he tells me how much she wanted me."
"Have you told him what happened?"
"Nope, used up all my visits for this month. I was going to tell him on the phone but then I know he'd flip out."
Shino was not entirely sure what to say, but tried anyway.
"Naruto, I'll try to speak to him… he may say more to me."
Instead of the expected crack about Shino and Sasuke never talking, Naruto just nodded. Shino had never seen him look so miserable.
"Perhaps if I had been around more recently I would have been able to help sooner," he found himself saying.
"What? No way, you've got your own life, you're not his babysitter. You guys have been there through all our shit, but you gotta do your own thing."
A group of girls were walking in their direction, and Shino moved aside and towards Naruto to let them pass and enter the building.
"What's that?" Naruto was looking at his collar, and when Shino looked down he saw the top two buttons of his shirt were undone. He had unbuttoned them earlier because the library was warm, and he now saw that a small section of the chain, Kiba's gift, was now visible.
"This?" He pulled out the chain from his shirt. "It was a birthday present."
"Nice - wait, hold on a sec, is that..."
Naruto reached out and touched Shino's shirt collar, pulling it aside. Shino tried to ignore how uncomfortable he felt. Few scars were visible but Naruto's fingers were prodding lightly at his collarbone.
"Is that a love bite?"
"You've got marks all over your neck! Either someone's been pinching your neck or you've been involved in some hot and heavy makeouts!"
Shino suddenly realised what Naruto meant, and quickly stepped out of Naruto's reach and began to button his shirt.
Naruto's eyes lit up, and a wide smile was growing.
"They are love bites! He must really be into you! That chain from him as well?"
After a moment Shino nodded the affirmative.
"You so fucking are! You two did it yet?"
"Why are you so interested in my personal life?"
"Cos you've never had one before! And usually I'm busy with that bastard, this is like a holiday for me! So come on, is he good in bed?"
Shino was about to tell Naruto it was none of his business when Naruto's phone beeped. He pulled out his phone and at the screen.
"It's Chouji, forgot I was meeting him. So when do we get to really meet the neck biter?"
"We're still getting to know each other, and he works at night."
"Don't take too long, we need to meet him!"
After Naruto left, Shino quickly made his way to the library's restroom.
It really had been a long time since he had last spoken to Sasuke, let alone had a real conversation… not since the day he told Kiba he had a fiancée.
He should call him soon.
When he reached the bathroom he went to the sinks and looked at his reflection in the mirror. There was a slight blush on his cheeks, so Naruto really wasn't exaggerating, and when he pulled back the collar he saw Naruto also was not exaggerating about the 'love bites'. His collar bone was dotted with red marks of varying size that stood out rather vividly on his pale skin, and when he leaned in for a closer inspection he saw some of the marks were a deeper red than others… and were those teeth marks?
He took out his phone.
"M'moshi?" Kiba sounded as if he had been asleep.
"What did you do to my neck?"
"Wha?" Definitely asleep.
"My neck is covered in red marks where you were kissing me, what did you do? Naruto said they were love bites."
"Naruto? Why he lookin'?"
"My shirt collar was open, what are they?"
"Just some fun, if you wanna return the favour you can but lower down, and by lower down I mean my di - "
"But what are they for?"
"Did you like it when I was doin' it?"
"There ya go." A yawn, "You wanna come over later?"
"Perhaps, if I don't have any studying later." Shino looked into the mirror again, pulling the shirt collar slightly. The marks really stood out.
"Studying? Isn't it the holiday soon?"
"I like to stay ahead. Kiba, don't do it again."
"Can't promise that."
Shino buttoned his collar up. He remembered something.
"Kiba, about what you said last night," he trailed off, unsure of what he said.
"What I said? What did I say?"
"... nothing of importance, I'll speak to you later."
He hung up.
Shino woke to a tapping sound. He lifted his head and looked around for the source of the noise, remnants of sleep still clinging to him.
He put on his glasses and got out of bed and went to the curtains, pulling them back slightly, and nearly jumped out of his skin. Kiba was at his window in his work clothes, balancing with one foot on the ledge and the other on the nearby tree branch.
He was so surprised he could only stare for several moments, until Kiba impatiently tapped the window, startling him into opening it.
"Kiba? What are you doing?"
"Were you asleep?" His face and voice were worryingly subdued.
"I was, but why are you here?"
Kiba only shrugged.
"Come inside before you fall and break your neck."
He held out his hand, and after a moment Kiba took it.
His hand was cold, and when he was fully inside, Shino found himself taking both of Kiba's hands and rubbing them so he could warm up faster.
Kiba took off his shoes while Shino took Kiba's jacket and hung it on the coat-hook on his door. He led Kiba to the bed and made him sit while he closed the window, leaving the curtains open so they could see. When he turned back, Kiba had not moved at all. Shino sat next to him, waiting. Eventually Kiba leaned against Shino's shoulder, and it only seemed right for Shino to put his arm around him. They were soon lying back on the unmade bed.
"I'm probably gonna be fired, I punched a client."
Shino turned his head to look at him, but Kiba was staring at the ceiling.
"Why did you punch him?"
At first, it seemed like Kiba wasn't going to answer, but eventually he sighed.
"I kinda... kinda left a few things out about what happened, when I was a kid and lost. I was on the streets for at least a month, tried begging for a day, before I realised I'd get more from stealing."
"One night I was wondering around Kabukichō when I saw this drunk guy a few years older than me on the street, and drunks are a real easy target. So I distracted him and got his wallet, but I didn't see his friends were nearby. They caught me, dragged me into an alley and beat the shit out of me. Next thing I know I got shoved against a wall, saw one of them holding a knife and the others yelling at him and running off. I remember... think I remember, looking down and seeing all the blood."
"I think I knew there was a hospital nearby, so I started walking. Didn't even hurt at first but the further I went the pain started and just got worse."
"No - " Shino stopped himself. "No one saw you?"
"It was late and dark, plus it was raining so no one saw the blood on the street. Don't know if I got too far cos I passed out. Woke up in hospital, a soapland girl had found me and called an ambulance and stayed with me. I wasn't anything to the hospital guys so she just made up a story; didn't ask her to. When they let me out I stayed with her for a bit, she was awesome but she couldn't afford to look after both of us, and I really wanted Hana to find me so I went to an orphanage to wait it out."
"Did you ever see her again?"
"Shizune? Yeah, she gave me money when she could, then a few years ago she struck lucky and married a rich guy and said I could live in one of the apartments he rented out, so now she's kinda my landlady."
That explained a lot.
"But what does this have to do with why you hit that man?"
"When I got to the place, as soon as I saw him I knew he was the guy that stabbed me. I tried to leave, said he could keep the money, but he tried to stop me and when he started to get rough I smashed his face in and ran off." Kiba sighed, "I'm so fired."
"What if you explain the situation?"
"No one wants a violent rent boy unless they've paid for it, so word gets around."
"If that happens, what will you do?"
"I dunno," The words came out in a soft exhalation, "Shit, I don't...I haven't thought about it, I just wanted to come see you."
"Was the place you met the client nearby?"
"Kyōbashi." Other side of the city, but Shino did not comment.
Nothing more was said that night, and they slowly fell asleep.
Shino woke to movement in the bed. He opened his eyes and saw Kiba rolling over to look at the bedside clock. He swore quietly and looked at Shino.
"I am now."
"I gotta get out of here."
"Now?" It felt like they had just fallen asleep.
Shino half-crawled over Kiba and peered closely at the clock. Kiba was right.
"How do I get out? Window again?" Shino looked around for his glasses but Kiba pushed them into his hands. He wiped the lenses with his sleeve and put them on.
"The neighbours might see you. My parents aren't awake yet so the front door should be fine."
Kiba quickly got up and put on his jacket, he tried to smooth down his hair as he grabbed his shoes, but it looked even messier than before.
Shino listened for any noise as he got up and approached his bedroom door. He heard nothing so far but he knew they woke up at around this time. He opened the door quietly and looked down the hallway. Empty.
Shino looked back at Kiba and made a 'be quiet' motion, and the brunet only rolled his eyes; obviously he would. He took Shino's hand with his free one, and they quietly walked out the room and down the hallway. It was an old house, and the everyday noises of the floor now seemed to be magnified by about twenty times. It was if a loudspeaker was next to every squeak and groan of the wood wherever they stepped.
The stairs protested loudly as they went down.
"Geeze," Shino heard Kiba say quietly, "How fuckin' noisy is your house?"
He had to silently agree.
After what felt like an eternity, they reached the bottom of the stairs, where weak morning light was filtering in, and Kiba went around Shino to sit on the step of the entryway porch, where all the family's shoes were kept, to put on his shoes. When he was done, he stood up and turned to Shino, who was leaning against the wall slightly. Shino was now half a head taller than him because on the porch step.
"Thanks," he said, still managing to keep his voice down.
"No, really, thanks. You..." Impulsively, Kiba stood up on tiptoe forward and kissed him.
They had of course kissed before, and would do so again in the future, but right now this one felt different, as if this was their first real kiss. The feeling shook Shino slightly, but he responded as passionately as he could.
When they separated, even their body language was different. As Kiba rocked back on his heels he realised Kiba's hands had been in his pockets and not all over him as usual, while his own had remained by his sides.
They looked at each other for a long moment.
Kiba was looking at him as if it was the first time he was really seeing Shino.
Shino's heart was pounding.
Finally, finally, Kiba took a hand out of his pocket and took Shino's chin gently. He kissed him again, briefly, almost sweetly.
When the front door clicked closed behind Kiba, Shino heard his parent's bedroom door squeak, and a moment later he heard his father's voice.
"Shino? Are you down there? Is there someone at the door?"
Shino sighed, and stepped away from the porch.
"No, I thought I heard something, but it's nothing."
Karma222 - Sorry for the delay, hope you liked the update!
yeah9fun - Your review made me laugh and laugh. Seriously. Plus I'm glad you enjoyed the fic :3
NaughtyandSpicyGirl - Hooray! I'm glad the prequel sucked more people in, mwahahaha! PS ShikaChou is one of my my OTPs, think I shipped them before ShinoKiba
necrophile - I WILL finish this fic. I may have Real Life and other stuff interfering but I need to finish this, the need is in my bones ._.
Thank you *sobs* I do worry sometimes about having so many pairings in this fic but to be honest I just love them ^^
caraniente – Hahahaha. Ninjas are awesome and made win!
Yeah, I can't stand those typical angst-fests of rentboy! fics. I mean, yeah it's a morally grey profession where exploitation can happen, but there are people who have an okay time with it. I'm not condoning the profession but it's interesting to look at it from an angle that isn't 100% tragic.
I'm also surprised at how long this has become, when I was planning it out I knew it would be the longest story I'd written so far, but now it's like...half a novel so far o_. But I suppose realism takes time.
Bob Da Peach - Thank you! And yes, people need to know Shino isn't emotionless!
Nekokonneko - I do my best with every fic, because I want to be a professional one day I take every story very seriously. Even in the silly fics!
I live to convert people to ShikaChou, they are just so sweet! It's a shame they aren't as popular but I guess it's because Chouji isn't conventially good looking
roses in bloom – Thank you!
Miss Independent 95 – Thanks!
Shamalan - It's okay not to like all the pairings in the fic, as long as it doesn't take away the enjoyment of the rest of the story it's all good^^
Yeah ShinoKiba is a pairing that needs time, Shino just isn't the type to jump into sex-tiemz
Shadowdolls – I LIVE TO CONVERT :|
earthbender068 – So much to reply to! I'll do my best~!
I'll be honest here, I actually prefer well written fanfics over books sometimes, they give me what I want o.o
Kankuro paddling Kiba...I'm sure that there's a fic of there out there, I'm certain of it. Possibly written by Shino.
Of course you have only noble intentions for kissing Kiba, I believe you ;)
I think Shino still doesn't know exactly what to make of Kiba and why he likes him so much, because they seem so different. I mean we all know opposites attract but it seems like an alien concept to him. As for Kiba...well, we'll see.
Kiba really needs to give up smoking, if he wants to be old and awesome :)
If I was Shibi I would be a bit suspicious, Kiba is defiantly not like Shino's friends and he isn't the type to just bring random people home.
I do love how Shino and Kiba are gradually opening up to each other in such a sincere way. I've noticed that a few people open up to Shino (probably because he's so quiet and they know he won't tell anyone) but the only person he's really, really opened up to is Kiba. Think that says a lot.
I honestly think Shino's never watched porn, he'd probably think it was too crude, whereas Kiba would have a mini-library, cos he's classy like that.
The only way Kiba would be happy to die would be if it involved an epic bloody battle, and fire, lots of fire.
Hahahaha, you're right about the cleaning thing, when I read your review I went "shit, she's right," and added that scene at the beginning XD
Despite his recklessness, I can't really see Kiba being dumb with his money, especially as he's been basically supporting himself for years. Think after everything he likes to be sure what's what with his money and situation.
I think Shino would be great moral support, and Kiba would be as well. You're right as well, Kiba can't be 'omg badass' all the time, it's nice to see his doubtful side every now and then.
Jealous eh? I'll see what I can do.
MizzAKA – Oh don't you worry the limey/lemony goodness will arrive...one day *is lame* I'm a perv too but these two need time.
Amy – Hi Amy! *waves* Always nice to meet a lurker. Sorry for the long wait, but I hope you it has all the goodness you need~
Btw your English is very good ^^
demonlifehealer – I love that everyone is rooting for ShikaChou :3 I think a big part of the story is growing out of the 'school-age' (so to speak) and into 'adulthood', as it was on my mind when I started the story. Honestly I'm now a 'grown-up' with a job and everything it still surprises me how scary the world is out of school o.0
Sasuke and Naruto...no matter which universe they always seem to have DRAMA!
I've never visited or been anywhere near Japan, though I would love to one day~. I read a lot about it, and any other questions I have I ask my regular beta, as she lived in Japan for a year. Lucky bitch.
Marrying your cousin is uncommon but legal in Japan. In fact it's legal in most countries. I suppose even I didn't think it was too odd because it's legal here in the UK.
perplexic - Aww, I love that I'm your reviewing first, I'm special~
I kinda didn't intend for ShikaChou's story to be a parallel conflict, but I'm glad it did. They are at the age now when they have to man-up and deal with things properly. They didn't really feature in this chapter but trust me they will be back~
I swear, do you live in my head? Because the scar was based from that fight, it was actually the first time I actually sat up and thought that Kiba was pretty kickass. I have so much love for the Sasuke Retrieval Arc, made me love so many characters and launched so many ships
Turtle Kid the Woolgatherer - Oh yes, Shikamaru is right, but Shino still needs to work up the corage.
FlameyFlame - You were right, 24 isn't old, now I'm 25 I'm REALLY old, hehehe.
I haven't actually decided yet if I'll include a scene with Hana or not, I guess we'll both see!
YAY! Another Hetalia fan, I do loves it so. Hope you like my fics, my Hetalia love my history nerdiness. I have to be completely vain here, which one did you like the most?
bored spitless – Poor poor Chouji, everyone can see Shikamaru loves him except for him *hugs Chouji*
With the parents, Shikamaru and Chouji's dads are best friends, Naruto's guardian is friendly with Shikaku and Chouza, and Shino's parents, and Shino's parents know Shikamaru and Chouji's, and Naruto's guardian through Shino but aren't super-close. Sasuke's family...well, you'll see.
Cuzosu – I kinda get Kishi's intention showing a person can change your life, but it really comes across to me that Hinata's development revolves solely around Naruto, and not other people as well. Really, really bugs me.
Oh yeah, OMGSANDSIBLINGSOMGWTFBBQ!1one!
GaaLee is one of my big OTPs, but in this story I'll leave it to you if they are a couple or not.
So what do you guys think? Love it? Hate it? Want to print out the chapter and hide it under your bed, then deny it when it's discovered? TELL ME!